Sunday, 28 December 2008
Yesterday my 5th or 7th cousin or something equally as obscure (but a great bloke, no less) made a joke about us eating Poppy for Christmas dinner. The joke carried on within the immediate family and we all agreed that it had been worth fattening her up and that it would be Jack’s turn at Easter. A joke, folks…. purely a joke.
However, I know there are some people out there who don’t believe you should keep animals at all unless they’re one day going to become food as pets aren’t ‘useful’ in any way but are a drain on our personal economy; they also demand time that could be spent in a more productive manner.
While I can understand that particular philosophy, I can’t personally agree with it. Yes, my furry friends do cost a bit to keep and yes, they do take up some of my time but they give me lots back in the form of companionship, entertainment, security and more.
When it comes to cost, they don’t really drain me. I save left-overs for them to eat and top that up with dog/cat biscuits. I know some would say that isn’t good enough but mine appear to be happy enough and although Poppy’s a bit on the heavy side - a problem I’ve had with her now that she’s knocking on a bit - she’s fit and active and a happy little soul. She can still sit up and beg and stay that way for a good five minutes if she has to.
Jack… well, he’s just always hungry. Feed him and half an hour later he’s scavenging for more food. Anything in the bin? Anything on the table? Anything on the work top? Maybe if I’m careful I can nick that sandwich right out of her hand without her even noticing! I’ve tried cutting out the scraps and just giving him good biscuits and a pouch of wet food but it doesn’t help - the boy is a pig! I have to be careful not to give Poppy left-overs that have a lot of onion in, neither of them are given anything spicy and Jack isn't given pork (we don't eat tuna so no problem there). I'll also add that they don't eat scraps every day - on non-scrap days Jack's given a sachet of wet food along with his biscuits and Poppy usually has just biscuits with the occassional half tin of wet food mixed in.
Now and then they have to go to the vet but insurance doesn’t cost more than £20 a month for the two of them and for those who can’t afford it there’s always the PDSA who’ll treat up to three pets free for those on a low income.
Time? Yes, dogs need exercise although I have to admit that Poppy doesn’t get as much as she should these days. I’ve had a bad year health wise and just haven’t been able to get out much with her. Richard takes her for a run now and then but LM… well, I don’t think she has at all this year. Strangely enough, Poppy doesn’t appear to mind. She doesn’t nag to go out and is generally happy just as long as she can be with me, whether that’s sitting next to me on the sofa, poking around in the garden or snuggled up under the duvet in bed with me. Most of the time I spend on her is pleasant, it’s the kind that builds companionship between us. She needs petting, playing with, talking to and if I didn’t have that with her I’d miss it something awful. The same applies to Jack. Although cats don’t even need walking of course. If my furry friends had been of the long-haired variety then they’d need grooming but mine don’t. The occasional bath for Poppy is more than enough.
Sometimes they drive me round the twist. Jack when he’s raiding bins or messes up my wool and Poppy when she pees on the floor but we only have ourselves to blame for not letting her out in time. If only she’d bark to let us know! But when Jack’s curled up on my lap, purring away contentedly and Poppy’s laying beside me, her head on my thigh, I feel peaceful. That alone is worth what they cost me in food and more.
Sharon J xx